Gibraltar stamps first appeared in January 1886. The plates for new stamps inscribed "Gibraltar" were not yet ready, so the first issues were actually overprinted stamps of Bermuda.
From January 1857 through the end of December 1866, Gibraltar was administered as a branch office of the General Post Office in London. The postage stamps of Great Britain and of Spain were used concurrently
in the colony, depending on the type of mail and the transportation
requirements for the mail.
Earlier British stamps used in Gibraltar may be identified by the use of cancels containing the number "A26" or the letter "G" in oval bars. There is a full list of them in the Stanley Gibbons catalog.
Arrangement Gibraltar Issues of 1886-1935
On many of the classic definitive stamp issues, the Scott Catalog tends to group similar stamps that were issued over many years into the same sets. Due to the papers, colors, and printing technologies used, displaying these definitive stamp series together in one group can result in an aesthetic appearance that looks very odd. As with my use of the Michel Catalog chronological sequence in my German category pages, I like the way that the Stanley Gibbons catalog arranges these definitive stamps chronologically, according to their actual years of issue.
Therefore, this category will continue to present these stamps, based on the Scott Catalog, but sets issued over a long period of time may be broken up into groups, based on their actual years of issue.
All of the stamps of Gibraltar, issued between 1886 and 1898 are typographed, perforated 14, and they were printed by Thomas De La Rue & Co. on paper with WMK 2 -- the Crown and CA watermark. They all feature the left facing profile of Queen Victoria.
The seven Bermuda stamps shown above were overprinted GIBRALTAR on January 1, 1886 for use in the Crown Colony of Gibraltar.
1/2 P. (1886 - Scott #1) - Green.
1 P. (1886 - Scott #2) - Rose.
2 P. (1886 - Scott #3) - Violet Brown.
2 1/2 P. (1886 - Scott #4) - Ultramarine
4 P. (1886 - Scott #5) - Orange Brown.
6 P. (1886 - Scott #6) - Violet.
1 S. (1886 - Scott #7) - Bister Brown.
Forged overprints exist on the high denominations. The purchase of authenticated examples is highly recommended. The Bermuda stamps, without these overprints, are very inexpensive.
All of these overprinted stamps also exist with additional "Specimen" overprints.
The first stamps for the colony that were actually inscribed GIBRALTAR were issued between November 1886 and April 1887. They are all shown above.
1/2 P. (1887 - Scott #8) - Dull Green.
1 P. (1886 - Scott #10) - Rose.
2 P. (1886 - Scott #12) - Brown Violet.
2 1/2 P. (1886 - Scott #14a) - Blue.
4 P. (1887 - Scott #16) - Orange Brown.
6 P. (1887 - Scott #18) - Violet.
1 S. (1887 - Scott #20) - Bister.
All of these stamps also exist with "Specimen" overprints. They are not much more expensive than the regularly issued stamps.
From 1889 through 1895, in order to facilitate commerce between Gibraltar and Spain, the currency of Gibraltar was changed to Spanish Pesetas (100 Centimos = 1 Peseta). In 1889, Gibraltar began revaluing their British colonial Pound Sterling postage stamps in Spanish currency, as shown below.
The seven Pound Sterling denomination stamps shown above were overprinted and revalued in Spanish currency during July 1889.
5 C. on 1/2 P. (1889 - Scott #22) - Dull Green.
10 C. on 1 P. (1889 - Scott #23) - Rose.
25 C. on 2 P. (1889 - Scott #24) - Brown Violet.
25 C. on 2 1/2 P. (1889 - Scott #25) - Bright Blue.
40 C. on 4 P. (1889 - Scott #26) - Orange Brown.
50 C. on 6 P. (1889 - Scott #27) - Violet.
75 C. on 1 S. (1889 - Scott #28) - Bister.
All of these stamps also exist with "Specimen" overprints.
The twelve new definitive Gibraltar stamps shown above were issued between 1889 and 1896. Though they are all British colonial stamps with the profile of Queen Victoria, they are all denominated in Spanish currency.
5 C. (1889 - Scott #29) - Green.
10 C. (1889 - Scott #30) - Rose.
20 C. (1896 - Scott #31A) - Olive Green and Brown.
20 C. (1896 - Scott #31) - Olive Green.
25 C. (1889 - Scott #32) - Ultramarine.
40 C. (1889 - Scott #33) - Orange Brown.
50 C. (1890 - Scott #34) - Violet.
75 C. (1890 - Scott #35) - Olive Green.
1 P. (1889 - Scott #36) - Bister.
1 P. (1895 - Scott #36A) - Bister and Blue.
2 P. (1896 - Scott #37) - Bister and Carmine Rose.
5 P. (1889 - Scott #38) - Steel Blue.
All of these stamps also exist with "Specimen" overprints.
In early 1896, the currency of Gibraltar was changed back to Pounds Sterling, and it has been that way ever since then.
In October 1898, the definitive Gibraltar stamp types of 1886 were reissued in new colors. They are all shown above.
1/2 P. (1898 - Scott #9) - Gray Green.
1 P. (1898 - Scott #11) - Carmine Rose.
2 P. (1898 - Scott #13) - Brown Violet and Ultramarine.
2 1/2 P. (1898 - Scott #14) - Bright Ultramarine.
4 P. (1898 - Scott #17) - Orange Brown and Green.
6 P. (1898 - Scott #19) - Violet and Carmine Rose.
1 S. (1898 - Scott #21) - Bister and Carmine Rose.
All of these stamps also exist with "Specimen" overprints. The prices are about four times those of the regular Gibraltar stamps.
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